Inks are like perfumes: on different people and in different climates, produce vastly different results.
So far for me, Diamine Meadow, Sepia, Autumn Oak, Misty Blue, Beau Blue, Grey, Monaco Red, Matador; R&K Scabiosa, Morinda; Herbin Vert Pre; Iroshizuku Chiku rin, Fuyu Syogun, Kirisame.
As one can see, many of these are lowly saturated inks and require pens and papers to curb the messy shadings. It took me a long time to get these inks 'right' for proper writing and legibility.
For fun in infinitely wet flex dip pens, they all work. Or as blotches and swabs and in brushes, they are fine. But in dry fine nibbed Platinum or Pilot gold nib pens, they won't work - for me, at least.
I was misled and feel 'cheated' by many ink 'reviews' and bought many of these inks as a result. Now, I read ink reviews with extra prudence.
Colour is not everything.
Fountain pen inks are specially designed for use in fountain pens and should be 'legible'.
I am not dismissing creative displays of inks and colours by brushes and super wet dip pens but they do not exhibit how inks write from a real everyday fountain pen - and can be profoundly misleading.
I urge new fountain pen users to read reviews with discretion.
Which is why I tend to ignore swabs and chromatography images. The former are, IMO, fairly useless as to how an ink is going to behave coming out of a pen's nib. And the latter? Interesting if you're a chemist or are curious about what the dye component colors are.
Not to mention that inks are going to be very different looking depending not only on the pen they're in, but the paper they're used on. Plus, not everybody is going to have their monitor calibrated the same; and years ago my friend discovered that when making photocopies of calligraphy and illumination projects for a "brag book" she had to tell the people in the photocopy place to cut back on the red/magenta setting quite a bit in order for the photocopies to look "true".
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth